Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterised by abnormal responses between the body’s autoimmune and central nervous systems. This reaction triggers limb impairments, weakness, and even sensory losses. There’s no established cure. Instead, treatments focus on slowing the progression of the disease and limiting symptoms where possible, hopefully enabling a better quality of life.
Unsurprisingly, many individuals who receive a diagnosis can feel like there’s little to nothing they can do. That can be incredibly frustrating, but this lack of action isn’t the only option. In truth, lifestyle changes can have as much impact on the severity of MS as they do any other condition. A focus on diet, in particular, can make a huge difference to how you feel.
It is worth noting that getting into the kitchen can be tricky when you’re dealing with the fatigue that’s often inherent with this condition. Still, finding that energy is one of the most proactive things sufferers can do to help themselves. It could certainly help to fight that fatigue for more energised cooking experiences!
Of course, there’s no one-size-fits MS diet. Many sufferers have to take personal food intolerances into account. Even without that, different foods have different impacts on everyone. As such, you might want to do some research and even get first-hand recommendations from sources like Shift MS Forum. In general, though, there are a few foods that you could benefit from focusing on, and we’re going to discuss them here.
Meat typically offers a whole load of vital nutrients, including iron and protein. What’s more, studies have found that a healthy intake of red meat can both reduce the risk of MS and slow disease progression. As such, lean cuts of beef in particular stand to bring a whole host of benefits to an MS diet. It is vital to note, however, that the type of fat found in some cuts of meat may worsen symptoms, so always look out for fat-free cuts of quality meat.
Seemingly in contrast with that, it’s worth making a particular effort to cook with fatty types of fish, including salmon, tuna, and mackerel. While the fat found in red meat isn’t considered beneficial, these fats are a different kettle of fish. Unlike the pro-inflammatory saturated fats found in meat meat, fat in fish is considered the #1 source of omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. These can work wonders for balancing the omega 6 fatty acids more commonly found in our Western-style diets. That may help to reduce the risks of potentially overactive immune system responses that can trigger MS flare-ups.
All things fresh
Fresh foods in general are also considered as useful for supporting symptoms of MS, and especially whole fruit and veg. Many of these are high in fibre and can, therefore, help to fight constipation that’s commonly found among MS sufferers. Fibrous fruits in particular can also increase motility, and provide that much-needed energy boost.
By incorporating these foods into your diet wherever possible, you may be able to at least reduce the worst MS symptoms and support energy levels. This can lead to a happier and healthier quality of life.